Pothole on M74 motorway damages cars

traffic generic Potholes on the road network has caused problems for drivers

A massive pothole on the M74 motorway in South Lanarkshire has caused damage to at least four vehicles.

Police said one vehicle sustained major suspension damage and had to be towed from the motorway after the incident near Larkhall at about 0600 GMT.

Motorway maintenance firm Amey said none of the four vehicles involved hit each other and its staff had repaired the pothole by 0730 GMT.

It comes after it emerged it could cost £100m to repair the road network.

Start Quote

This year alone, we have put down 500 million tonnes of salt on the roads in Scotland since the beginning of December and that's an enormous amount and that takes it toll on the road”

End Quote Pat Watters Cosla

A large pothole also caused major problems for motorists travelling on the M8 in West Lothian.

Drivers were warned to take care on the route near Bathgate because of a large pothole on the westbound carriageway.

Up to a tenth of Scotland's road network is thought to require urgent work to repair damage caused by the severe weather.

Cosla, the umbrella group that represents Scotland's 32 local authorities, is in talks with the Scottish government about covering the cost of the repairs.

President of the organisation, Pat Watters told BBC radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that last year councils had over-spent their winter maintenance budgets by £34m, in addition to a £51m repair bill for potholes.

He said: "This year alone, we have put down 500 million tonnes of salt on the roads in Scotland since the beginning of December and that's an enormous amount and that takes it toll on the road.

"So the authorities are well over-spending their budgets right now and we are not through the winter yet."

He added: "If anybody looks at the weather forecast for tomorrow they will see more snow. We had more snow last night.

"The north of Scotland is getting it very, very bad. We have still got gritting crews working 12 hours a day, so the bill is enormous for that alone and then we have to repair it. £100m is not a wild estimate, it's actually quite a conservative estimate."

Mr Watters said Cosla was currently in talks with the Scottish government to see how the costs will be met.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said the government's operating companies, including Amey, were focussing their efforts on repairing potholes as quickly as possible.

He said: "Teams are out working around the clock across Scotland to identify and repair potholes as they develop and will continue in their efforts throughout the winter period to enable road users to go about their day-to-day business.

"We are asking people to assist by contacting their relevant operating company or Traffic Scotland if they encounter a pothole on any trunk road or motorway, to allow for repair as quickly as possible."

Impacted snow

Potholes appear in winter when water seeps under a road surface and freezes to form ice. The process undermines the integrity of the carriageway when the temperature rises again causing cracks or holes.

Meanwhile, driving conditions across Scotland have again been difficult as overnight rain, sleet and snow moved across the country.

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The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for Central, Tayside and Fife, and Dumfries and Galloway.

Grampian, Lothian and Borders and Strathclyde were also affected.

Up to 15cm (6in) of snow fell in some areas over 300m (984ft).

In the Lochaber area, the A86 Spean Bridge to Kingussie/Dalwhinnie, the A82 north of Fort William and the A830 between Fort William and Mallaig are all affected by impacted snow and ice.

Grampian Police said roads were very icy and extra care was needed.

There were also problems on the A9 between Dunblane and Auchterarder in Perthshire.

Snow was also affecting the M74 southbound in Dumfries and Galloway.

Police in Dumfries and Galloway were warning of standing water on the roads.

In the Borders, snow was lying on the A7 and the A68.

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